Most Valuable Players

A Guide to Austin Stage Actors

Martin Burke in <i>Circumference of a Squirrel</i>
Martin Burke in Circumference of a Squirrel

Martin Burke

On the scene since: 1990

MVP for: Zachary Scott Theatre Center

Recent roles: Mark, Shopping and Fucking, Vortex, 2001; Chester, Circumference of a Squirrel, Zach, 2001; Macy's Elf, Santaland Diaries, Zach, 2000-1998; Romeo, Shakespeare's R&J, Zach, 1999; various, Mystery of Irma Vep, Zach, 1999; Malvolio/Andrew Aguecheek, Twelfth Night, Sneck Up!/Vortex, 1999; Louis, Angels in America, Parts I & II, Zach, 1998.

Honors: Critics Table & Payne awards, Circumference of a Squirrel; Payne nomination, Shakespeare's R&J; Payne & Critics Table nominations, Mystery of Irma Vep; Critics Table & Payne awards, Twelfth Night; Critics Table award, Santaland Diaries; Payne award & Critics Table nomination, Angels in America, Part II.

Okay, so why is Martin Burke the most honored theatrical performer in Austin over the past several years? Craft and presence. He's a lovable guy, and he has no problem allowing that part of himself to show when he's onstage. Some people use the theatre as a hiding place. Martin uses it to free himself. There's a sense of liberation in his performances, a joy that is elemental, a life energy that's difficult to define but impossible to deny. It's like watching a big kid at play, and that is truly what theatre is, or at least should be. Add to this Martin's undeniable storytelling abilities -- his awareness of structure, character, action and objective, and his ability to communicate a sense of each -- and it's easy to follow his lead because the guy, quite simply, knows where he's going. But mostly, it's just a lot of fun tagging along.

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